Chelsea, riding high after six consecutive victories in October across all competitions, go to Brentford in the West London derby on Wednesday night looking to keep the momentum going.
Last Friday, the Bees beat Brighton & Hove Albion, 2-0, while Graham Potter’s team also won 2-0 on the road against Aston Villa.
Our Match Preview: Brentford vs Chelsea
Ivan Toney scored both of Brentford’s goals in a 2-0 victory against Brighton to start the most recent Premier League round. Brighton had their opportunities to score at the Brentford Community Stadium, but David Raya stopped all of the Seagulls’ shots.
Thomas Frank’s men stopped a three-game losing skid in which they only earned one of nine available points. They are ninth in the standings with 13 points, one behind seventh-placed Brighton having played a game more.
The Brentford Community Stadium has been a stronghold for the Bees this season, with 10 points from 15 available and more than two goals per game in front of their home supporters – no surprise considering Toney’s form.
Brentford might win a midweek Premier League match for the first time – they have lost five of six – but Chelsea has only won this month.
Tyrone Mings gave Mason Mount presents in the West Midlands as Chelsea kept their October record perfect with a 2-0 win to push Steven Gerrard.
Mings’ looping header went nicely for Mount to side-foot a volley in the sixth minute, and the Chelsea creator fired a free kick into the net after being fouled by his compatriot.
Mount’s brace boosted Chelsea to fourth place, three points ahead of Manchester United and eight behind Arsenal with a game in hand.
Graham Potter has overseen five straight victories in all competitions, the last four with a clean sheet, but Kepa Arrizabalaga saved the day at Villa Park. Brentford beat Chelsea 4-1 at Stamford Bridge six months ago, but Chelsea won both meetings at the Gtech Community Stadium last season, keeping clean sheets each time.
Our Team News: Brentford vs Chelsea
Thomas Strakosha and Aaron Hickey, both of Brentford, have been sidelined with ankle problems and will not be able to play again until after the World Cup.
Christian Norgaard’s Achilles issue also shows no signs of improvement before then. Frank may have been tempted to go with a 3-5-2 formation similar to Chelsea’s this week, but with Pontus Jansson out until at least Boxing Day with a hamstring injury.
The coach may decide to stick with the 2-5-2 instead. The Bees have had four days to prepare for this game and may choose to stick with the same starting lineup that defeated Brighton.
However, Yoane Wissa faces competition for his starting berth on the wings from Mikkel Damsgaard and Keane Lewis-Potter.
After suffering a knee injury in Chelsea’s match against AC Milan, Potter is still without N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), and Reece James (knee), with the latter certain to miss the World Cup due to his eight-week recovery time.
Thiago Silva, a veteran central defender, will require an examination after leaving the Villa Park field with thigh discomfort, but Potter has confirmed that there is no damage there. Hakim Ziyech, who has been out with sickness, will also hope to return to action.
With his team under pressure against Villa, Potter made substitutions at halftime; he may make early adjustments against Chelsea; Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Jorginho are all starters.
- Brentford possible starting lineup: Raya, Ajer, Pinnock, Mee, Henry, Jensen, Janelt, Onyeka, Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa.
- Chelsea possible starting lineup: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell, Sterling, Mount, Aubameyang.
Our Prediction: Brentford 1-2 Chelsea
Even if Potter may experiment with his starting lineup to prevent such weaknesses from being revealed, an in-form Toney will need no invitation to pounce. A more clinical team would have made the net ripple against Chelsea at the weekend.
This seems like it may be a tough match for the Blues, what with it being a West London derby and all, and they will have less time to recover between games. However, even if their streak of clean sheets ends, they should not lose their winning streak.